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Imagine a machine that can learn things from scratch, no pre-programmed rules. What could it do? Flickr/Marco Abis

Machines master classic video games without being told the rules

Tech companies are investing big in artificial intelligence research that allows machines to learn things from scratch, with no pre-programmed rules. So what's the potential for this new technology?
Science fiction has plenty of tales of AI turning against society including the popular Terminator movie franchise, here depicted on brick wall art. Flickr/Garry Knight

Artificial Intelligence should benefit society, not create threats

Some of the biggest players in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have joined together calling for any research to focus on the benefits we can reap from AI “while avoiding potential pitfalls”. Research into…
How to protect your employment prospects as robots take over more jobs. Flickr/Chris Isherwood

Job survival in the age of robots and intelligent machines

In Australia, there are reports that up to half a million of existing jobs could be taken over by robotics or machines run by artificial intelligence. So with smarter computers taking on more of the work…
“You think you’re in pain now, but this is not going to look good on Facebook tomorrow.” Stefano Bolognini/National Museum of Denmark

Deep learning could prevent you from drunk posting to Facebook

The immense popularity of social media seems to have redefined “privacy” from the sense of keeping information secret to being in control over how information is shared – among friends, colleagues, companies…
British astrophysicist Professor Stephen Hawking with his new Intel-created communications platform. EPA/Andy Rain

Is Stephen Hawking right? Could AI lead to the end of humankind?

The famous theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking, has revived the debate on whether our search for improved artificial intelligence will one day lead to thinking machines that will take over from us…
Nose-to-tail driving would be the norm if computers drove the cars. Danny Lawson/PA

Self-driving cars could be the answer to congested roads

If cars with drivers still suffer under gridlock conditions on roads, how will driverless cars fare any better? With greater computerisation and network awareness, driverless cars may be the answer to…
Status update: this party’s dead, and so am I. Eddi van W.

From here to Eterni.me – the quest for digital immortality

Earlier this year, start-up Eterni.me emerged from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Entrepreneurship Development program. The company’s tagline – “simply become immortal” – quickly attracted media…
Elon Musk has invested heavily in artificial intelligence – and yet he’s warning of its dangers. JD Lasica

Elon Musk is right: we need to talk about artificial intelligence

Last week, Elon Musk warned an audience at MIT that: we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. Musk is the…
Taking over one neuron at a time. viipeer

Five ways the superintelligence revolution might happen

Biological brains are unlikely to be the final stage of intelligence. Machines already have superhuman strength, speed and stamina – and one day they will have superhuman intelligence. The only reasons…
One of the self-drive cars already being used by Google in Nevada, in the US. EPA/Google

Self-driving cars need ‘adjustable ethics’ set by owners

One of the issues of self-driving vehicles is legal liability for death or injury in the event of an accident. If the car maker programs the car so the driver has no choice, is it likely the company could…
I thought they’d look a bit more like Scarlett Johansson. Nate McBean

Your essential guide to the rise of the intelligent machines

The risks posed to human beings by artificial intelligence in no way resemble the popular image of the Terminator. That fictional mechanical monster is distinguished by many features – strength, armour…
One day computers will be more intelligent than this grey mush. AshStorm

Explainer: what is superintelligence?

Humans are currently the most intelligent beings on the planet – the result of a long history of evolutionary pressure and adaptation. But could we some day design and build machines that surpass the human…
What does it take for a computer to show artificial intelligence? Flickr/Nebraska Oddfish

Is passing a Turing Test a true measure of artificial intelligence?

The Turing Test has been passed, the headlines report this week, after a computer program mimicked a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy called Eugene Goostman, fooling 33% of its interrogators into believing it…

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